Formulate an Effective Mobile Strategy
As a result, the company made improving the website experience for mobile users a priority. Meredith has mobilized its four largest brands—Better Homes and Gardens, Parents, Fitness and Family Circle, with plans for more.
Plan for an "interconnected brand ecosystem." At the same time it has optimized products to leverage each platform's distinct advantages, Meredith has prioritized interconnectedness across channels. "Our feeling is that we need to give a seamless, curated, entertaining experience every step of the way," Wiener says.
Each brand at Meredith has a "brand map"—a strategy document put together by an editor outlining the best expression of that brand in every publishing platform. "It definitely is not one size fits all," she notes. Based on this guide, products are given platforms and design elements that best speak to a particular passion point. Apps for Fitness, for instance, feature video because video has proven popular with that magazine's audience, whereas Better Homes' apps are designed around that audience's preference for slide shows and still images.
Know where to put apps in the content buffet. Meredith's audience of women use apps for "content snacking" in moments when they have discretionary time. "So we looked for snackable opportunities either for the mom or for her kids that were in alignment with the brand and that delivers something different than the experience that you can get from the website or from our mobile site," Wiener says.
Being in alignment with the brand means understanding what users are looking for. The Fitness Express apps for Fitness magazine focus on quick, efficient workout plans. Apps for parents provide ways to entertain kids at the doctor's, the airport or similar situations—thus Meredith's popular flashcards apps for toddlers, which reflect what Meredith already knew about its target audience of moms: They want products that are both entertaining and educational.